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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

College Campuses are in Turmoil: What’s the Solution?

Dean Moses
For the last few weeks, there have been numerous protests on college campuses surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/war. Pictured here are Israeli demonstrators and pro-Palestine protesters clashing outside of Columbia University.

For centuries, protesting has been a way for human beings to share their fundamental right to free speech. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, protest can be described as, “a strong complaint expressing disagreement, disapproval, or opposition.”

All over the world, billions of people participate in protests for various reasons. These protests are at times peaceful, but there are numerous circumstances where they lead to violence and destruction. In the last few months, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/war has caused much debate around the world. Many people on both sides have shared their opinions and views on the ongoing conflict and how they feel about it.

As the months have progressed, tensions have come to an all-time high as this conflict has bled into places of education, specifically universities. There have been ongoing protests at colleges and universities worldwide for several weeks.

Pictured here at UCLA are counter-protesters of the Pro-Palestine movement. (Julia Zhou)

These protests have escalated and grown exceptionally these last few weeks. There have been numerous instances of violence, clashes with law enforcement, and destruction of property reported. The escalation of tensions on university campuses has raised concerns about the safety of students, faculty, and staff.

Protestors being confronted by Police at the University of Texas, Austin (Jay Jenner)

With all these aspects, it is safe to say that college campuses are in a place they have never been before. Heads of colleges and universities are scrambling with how to navigate during these turbulent times, which leads to the question, what is the solution to this ongoing conflict? Is there a way for this to de-escalate peacefully, or will it seem like they are not letting those have the right to free speech and have the ability to protest peacefully?

A college student, who chose to stay anonymous said, “I feel like the Palestinian side is definitely doing a good thing and being peaceful about it but it got aggressive when the Zionists started to come and attack students. They were setting off fireworks in the encampment and beating people with sticks of wood. it honestly never should’ve gotten to that point. After seeing all that was going on I had to mute my college group chats because it kept making me nervous and anxious. At one point it was said that the Zionists came up to the dorms so now I was feeling unsafe and had to leave the next day.”

These protests have put many college students on edge and have affected their livelihood in the process. Not only have students feared for their safety, but it has also affected their education. Many classes have been canceled and many colleges have changed to remote learning until the end of the school year. The biggest shock to come out of these protests is graduation ceremonies being canceled due to the ongoing protests.

Graduation is a crucial part of one’s life, and the fact that many students are not able to walk the stage and receive their diploma which signifies all the hard work they have accomplished in their four years of college, is incredibly sad to witness.

Despite the complexities and challenges that arise from such intense protests, it is vital to recognize the significance of peaceful expression and the right to dissent in a democratic society. Protests serve as a platform for individuals to voice their concerns, advocate for change, and raise awareness about critical issues that impact communities on a global scale.

Everyone has the fundamental right to freedom of speech. With this ongoing war going on, it has led to many emotions running high, rightfully so. However, as we navigate through these turbulent times, it is essential for all parties involved to engage in respectful dialogue, empathy, and a willingness to understand different viewpoints.

Amid heightened emotions and conflicting ideologies, my hope for universities is to be able to foster open communication and mutual understanding to work towards sustainable solutions and de-escalate tensions.

At the end of the day, it is our shared responsibility as human beings to uphold the values of respect and peaceful coexistence. In the future, hopefully, these protests lead to a conversation about how to navigate protests on college campuses in a way that still offers students a safe environment to speak their truth and what they believe in. After all, universities are said to be the ultimate place for free speech, and that should never change.

C.S Muncy
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About the Contributor
Danielle Okogho
Danielle Okogho, Copy Editor
Danielle Okogho is a senior at Santa Rosa Academy. She joined journalism this year because of her love for writing and wanting to get involved with the school. Born and raised in the vibrant Orange County CA, she has been to London, Paris, Belgium, and Nigeria and wants to go to Italy. Her hope for college is to go to the University of San Diego. She likes to write, play basketball, watch movies, and listen to R&B and pop. Her favorite artist right now is SZA. She is a Marvel fan and loves Black Panther and X-Men.  Her favorite movies are The Dark Knight and Back To The Future. Her goals for this year is to make the most of it, maintain her grades, and keep it positive.
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